One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any plant of the genus Oenothera (family Onagraceae), comprising chiefly North American plants with large, often yellow, flowers; also (in form Oenothera), the genus itself.
Early 17th century (in an earlier sense). From post-classical Latin oenothera, an alternative reading for classical Latin onothēra, also onothēras a plant mentioned by Pliny from Hellenistic Greek ὀνοθήρας, lit. ‘ass-catcher’ from ancient Greek ὄνος ass + θηρᾶν to hunt, pursue, catch from θήρ wild beast; another name was ὀνάγρα ass-trap.
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